The hard-boiled egg diet is sometimes touted as one of the best ways to quickly lose lots of weight.
There’s no doubt that eggs are good for you. Low in carbohydrates and calories but rich in vitamins and minerals, eggs are also the most bioavailable source of protein. This means we can digest and use the protein from eggs more than from any other food.
But is the ‘hard-boiled egg diet’ – which places eggs as the main (or only) source of nutrition – a good idea?
What Is the Hard Boiled Egg Diet?
The diet requires you to increase your protein intake and drastically reduce – or eliminate – carbohydrates and other dietary elements.
There are no universal ‘rules’ for the diet and there are several variations. In general, though, it lasts for 2 weeks and you should:
- use eggs as your main source of protein, or supplement with other lean proteins (chicken, turkey or fish)
- avoid carbohydrates, processed foods, fried foods, salt and alcohol
- stick to 3 meals a day, with no snacks
- drink only water, or zero-calorie drinks
Avoiding carbohydrates means cutting out foods like bread, pasta and rice.
But fruits and some vegetables are relatively high in carbohydrates too, in the form of natural sugars.
You can still eat produce lower in carbs, including citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, mushrooms, broccoli and cauliflower.
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Variations of the Diet
In the traditional version…
You eat eggs or a small amount of another lean protein at every meal.
You can also serve a low-carbohydrate fruit or vegetable with breakfast and dinner.
In the ‘egg and grapefruit’ version…
You eat eggs or a small amount of another lean protein at every meal. You can also have half a grapefruit with each meal.
In the ‘extreme’ version…
You eat nothing but hard-boiled eggs for the 14-day duration of the diet. Alternatively, you can serve your eggs poached or scrambled, as long as you don’t use butter or oil to prepare them.
Medical professionals don’t recommend this type of ‘mono’ diet because it is so imbalanced and can lead to malnourishment.
Advantages of the Hard-Boiled Egg Diet
This type of diet WILL produce weight loss in the short term. What’s more, many aspects of the diet are beneficial. For example, the advice to avoid alcohol, processed and fried foods is key to any healthy diet.
Disadvantages of the Hard-Boiled Egg Diet
Unfortunately, any weight loss will be temporary, because a diet like this is impossible to maintain long term. ‘Yoyo’ dieting – where you lose weight quickly, then regain it – is unhealthy.
Eliminating carbs will leave you feeling weak and lethargic, and the sudden increase in protein can play havoc with your digestive system. This can cause nausea, constipation and bad breath.
Nutritional balance is the key to a healthy body, so we don’t recommend the hard-boiled egg diet as a method of losing weight.
With that said, protein-rich eggs should still continue to play an important part in your diet. They’re super satisfying, so they make a great breakfast or snack. And why not try preparing eggs meals as a healthy replacement for some meat meals during the week?
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